Assessing a Vet

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Assessing a Vet

Postby ComicBookMama » Sat Dec 14, 2019 7:34 pm

Figment went for his wellness visit today. It was my first meeting with a new vet, whose name I got off the Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians website... and my feelings are a bit mixed.

The vet asked for a fecal sample and photos of Figment's hab, and did give him a good once-over, checking his mouth, vent, and skin condition and doing the basic weighing (340grams). She asked me where and when I got Figment, about his diet and what supplements I'm using, and about the setup of his habitat. I asked her if he seemed underweight (she said no) and about hydration (she recommended soaking him once or twice a week for about 15-20 minutes at a shot).

Overall, I liked her and appreciated that she feels Figment is in good condition, and that she came prepared with care sheets for me and suggested websites to reference (she suggested looking at http://www.anapsid.org for their recipe for salads). She told me that she'd like to see him eating more greens and fewer insects as he approaches the one year mark (he's approximately 7 months old, as best I can tell). When I asked about the fecal test, she did warn me that most beardies have some parasites, but that pet store dragons often come with coccsidea (sp?) and a gutload of worms.

But a couple of things set my warning bells jingling... first, when she told me to soak Figment, I decided to test her by asking if he would drink from the bath. She said no, but that he'd absorb water through his skin and his vent. Secondly, the recipe at anapsid.org is meant for iguanas... maybe it would be okay for beardies, too, but my gut tells me that they're two very different animals from two wildly different environments, and would therefore have very different nutritional needs.

Results on the fecal won't be ready until Monday or Tuesday... I'll see what comes of that. The visit itself was as expensive as a dog or cat wellness visit - about $200. (I live in a pricey area.) Based on what they say about the fecal, and if they're going to charge me for a return visit to dose him (if he does have parasites), I'll make my final decision.

What would you folks suggest, going forward? My gut tells me that this vet may not have a lot of experience with beardies; that doesn't necessarily make her a bad choice, but it does make me leery of her potential diagnoses. But there's only one other vet in a reasonable driving distance who sees beardies, and I haven't heard great things about him, either... hence my driving a longer distance to see this vet today.

I could really use some opinions here.
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Re: Assessing a Vet

Postby Gormagon » Sat Dec 14, 2019 7:55 pm

Beware the dosage levels. Sometimes inexperienced vets tend to overdo it.
The whole soaking for 15 minutes for hydration is total BS IMO!
There are those on here with more knowledge of the proper dosages per/weight scale than I. There is a member on here with a dragon that was overdosed and is pulling through slowly. So be careful.
The wonderful world of bearded dragons is a magical land of mystery, enchantment, cuddles, love and, worry! A mysterious realm where things always seem to change in an instant and, the moment you think you have it all figured out, the rules change! You think you own your dragon, guess again. You are now a slave!!!
RIP Peaches 10-1-18 Forever in my Heart
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Re: Assessing a Vet

Postby kingofnobbys » Sat Dec 14, 2019 8:16 pm

Gormagon wrote:Beware the dosage levels. Sometimes inexperienced vets tend to overdo it.
The whole soaking for 15 minutes for hydration is total BS IMO!
There are those on here with more knowledge of the proper dosages per/weight scale than I. There is a member on here with a dragon that was overdosed and is pulling through slowly. So be careful.


I concur, if the vet thinks soaking water or salts of some sort will help with hydration they are clueless , as this only helps if the dragon drinks the water while there.

Vet , even reptile vets, are very hit and miss regards competence from my experience.
Best guide is other reptile keepers in your area, if their consensus is the vet is good, go to that vet.

As far as wellness assessments when the reptile is active , feeding well, basking and looks healthy and happy , are IMO a waste of money and not worth the stress the reptile will experience in the process. All these wellness assessments do is line vet's pocket with your money.
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
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Re: Assessing a Vet

Postby Claudiusx » Sun Dec 15, 2019 5:12 am

I STRONGLY disagree, just because the vet doesnt know they dont absorb water through their vent, doesnt make them clueless.
Them absorbing water through their vent was pretty much believed by everyone until it was actually tested. And even once it got tested, its not like it was breaking news that spread. You have to search for that info. If you dont randomly decide to search it up, you'll never know if someone doesnt tell you.

I think a better test would have been to tell your vet that they actually dont, and experiments had been done to prove that. The test is in your vets reaction.

A vet that understands that there is still more to learn and is willing and eager to continue their pursuit of knowledge is a goldmine vet imo.
A vet who is stone cold set in their ways and believes they know everything is one I'd pass up. As they are stubborn and unwilling to learn, and most likely unwilling to work with you in regards to the care of your dragon.

The vet actually sounded decently knowledgeable based on what you said.

-Brandon
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Re: Assessing a Vet

Postby Claudiusx » Sun Dec 15, 2019 5:15 am

kingofnobbys wrote:As far as wellness assessments when the reptile is active , feeding well, basking and looks healthy and happy , are IMO a waste of money and not worth the stress the reptile will experience in the process. All these wellness assessments do is line vet's pocket with your money.

The purpose of these visits is to create a relationship with a vet, or to find a vet that is worthwhile, which is really what CBM is doing here.

You dont wait until your dragon is having seizures or is blackbearding and gaping for air before trying to find a vet. You do it when your dragon is healthy so that you have time to decide if this is a vet you want to continue with.

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Re: Assessing a Vet

Postby ComicBookMama » Sun Dec 15, 2019 7:22 am

Thanks so much for the replies and the ideas to contemplate. I do believe in wellness visits to establish a relationship with a vet and to have a baseline to work from in case of emergency; at any rate, I needed to bring Figment in because I was thinking of boarding him with this vet over Christmas and they require a visit prior to boarding if you're not already a client.

I'll be wary of overdosing, and will probably point out that information about soaking to her the next time I see her and see what her reaction is. After sleeping on it, and after reading these replies, I do feel that she's probably the better of my two choices. I'll also speak to the other reptile owners that I know (all two of them... sigh) and see who they use. Probably should have done that before scheduling a visit, but oh well, live and learn.

Thanks again!
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Re: Assessing a Vet

Postby KarrieRee » Sun Dec 15, 2019 7:43 am

I agree w/ Brandon --- the vet sounds good -- my vet told me the same thing about soaking --- for some reason Hiccup was dehydrated last spring and she told me to soak him for the 10-15 minutes even tho I told her he did not drink she said it didnt matter the skin will absorb water so when we went back a week or so later cant remember how long they did X rays etc and he was no longer dehydrated after the soaking for that amount of time in between visits and he was not eating or drinking so that must of worked --- I mean how can a dehydrated dragon go from being dehydrated to hydrated w/ out eating or drinking? I too watched the video on the soaking of water myth etc and no they do not soak water thru the vent but I do believe their skin does absorb water there --- so if you have dry skin and you soak your feet or what ever is dry and when done soaking your skin is not going to be dry anymore but soft etc............ how did that skin get like that ? It must of absorbed the water you were soaking in--- wouldnt a dragons skin do the same? My vet comes recommended off this site -- https://arav.org/
She was the only one that popped in my area and there are a ton of vets where I live --- so I was so happy to have found her --
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Re: Assessing a Vet

Postby Gormagon » Sun Dec 15, 2019 7:51 am

A vet will not be testing his theories (guessing) on my dragons. He/She better Know what they are talking about or my dragons and, I are done with them.
The wonderful world of bearded dragons is a magical land of mystery, enchantment, cuddles, love and, worry! A mysterious realm where things always seem to change in an instant and, the moment you think you have it all figured out, the rules change! You think you own your dragon, guess again. You are now a slave!!!
RIP Peaches 10-1-18 Forever in my Heart
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Re: Assessing a Vet

Postby kingofnobbys » Sun Dec 15, 2019 8:45 am

Gormagon wrote:A vet will not be testing his theories (guessing) on my dragons. He/She better Know what they are talking about or my dragons and, I are done with them.


…. and they , like any competent professional , had better be up to date with their reading ( professional journals ) , so there Is no excuse for not staying abreast of the latest knowledge in their area / profession .

Their learning doesn't stop once they graduate and become fully fledged professionals.
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
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Re: Assessing a Vet

Postby Gormagon » Mon Dec 16, 2019 5:23 am

I use spring water in a spray bottle to lightly spray my dragons greens to make sure they are hydrated.
The wonderful world of bearded dragons is a magical land of mystery, enchantment, cuddles, love and, worry! A mysterious realm where things always seem to change in an instant and, the moment you think you have it all figured out, the rules change! You think you own your dragon, guess again. You are now a slave!!!
RIP Peaches 10-1-18 Forever in my Heart
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Re: Assessing a Vet

Postby kingofnobbys » Mon Dec 16, 2019 6:56 am

Gormagon wrote:I use spring water in a spray bottle to lightly spray my dragons greens to make sure they are hydrated.

I don't bother buying spring water even for myself .. but tap water here in my area is very good quality as well as very much cheaper.

Only concession I make is I put the water into a jug and let it stand for a day or so any excess chlorine get a chance to evaporate.

Really all the dragons need are fresh leafy greens and well gutloaded (with more the same fresh greens) live insects and an occasional mist with water.
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
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Re: Assessing a Vet

Postby ComicBookMama » Mon Dec 16, 2019 12:53 pm

Just got the call from the vet - Figment’s fecal came back negative on all parasites! I’m thrilled, as I did expect pinworms due to feeding crickets, but I couldn’t be happier with the results.
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Re: Assessing a Vet

Postby Claudiusx » Mon Dec 16, 2019 1:04 pm

That is great news :D

-Brandon
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P.S. We have lots of pictures ;)
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Re: Assessing a Vet

Postby Gormagon » Mon Dec 16, 2019 2:57 pm

That's awesome, now we are on our way.
The wonderful world of bearded dragons is a magical land of mystery, enchantment, cuddles, love and, worry! A mysterious realm where things always seem to change in an instant and, the moment you think you have it all figured out, the rules change! You think you own your dragon, guess again. You are now a slave!!!
RIP Peaches 10-1-18 Forever in my Heart
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